Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day Trip to Bonneville Lock and Dam

There are a lot of sights to see in Oregon. One of the more interesting places I've been was this day trip in July 2012 to see Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge.

A few facts are that the dam is 197 feet (60 meters) in height and 2,690 feet (820 meters) in length.

The dam is used for generating electricity and also there are locks for ships and boats to navigate the Columbia River.

It's a series of a lock and dams with two powerhouses and a spillway that stretch from the Oregon river side to Washington State's side of the river. It was very impressive to see not just the facilities but also the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge.

 In the middle of the river is Bradford Island where there are various things to see around the grounds like petrified wood.

Various native plants grow in many places like these blooming yucca.

Along with wildflowers.

Interesting plants are part of the landscaping around the visitor center like this leatherleaf viburnum.

As for the Bradford Island Visitor Center I do recommend going in it. Besides exhibits inside you can see where they count the various fish swimming through the fishway along with seeing the fish yourself.

You can also go outside to view the top of the fishway.

I didn't catch any fish jumping that day.

This was a nice and interesting place to visit. It's located about 40 miles upstream from Portland so it made a nice day trip. The website for the Bonneville Dam and Lock is here if you want more information.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Moment with Tashi

Since it's Saturday and since Tashi has a couple fans out there I thought I'd post a couple recent photos of her.

Rolling around on the balcony enjoying the sunlight.

Nice to see her furry little self all healthy this year.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Kula not Kura Kaiten Zushi

Sometimes it gets confusing trying to remember places I ate at. When restaurants chose to have similar names it makes it more confusing. Such as it is with Kura Sushi in Costa Mesa and Kula Sushi in Irvine, California. Both are kaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi) and not far from each other. This time the visit was to Kula Revolving Sushi Bar.

We visited Kula not long after it opened. Kula is owned and operated by Kura Corporations of Japan where they have 322 Muten Kura Sushi restaurants. At this time they now have eight Kula restaurants in California.

Their site says they try to use organic products whenever possible. I'm not sure what part of the meal is that but they did have some items that aren't usually part of many conveyor belt restaurants like these uni gunkan.

The cucumber sunomono was fresh. Kula's site says they use an automated system to remove dishes after a period of time. The use of lids is also a good idea.

I don't have a lot of photos since back then my camera wasn't the best. But these California roll pieces turned out pretty well. Not sure who ate them. I thought the logo green tea cup was cute too.

However if it's yellowtail nigiri odds are it was mine. The Hakutsuru Draft Sake is also a clue.

No idea if this is farmed or wild salmon. I do remember I enjoyed the food they offered and thought the space was nice. My only complaint at that time was the music was so loud we couldn't have a conversation and hear each other. Hopefully they lowered the volume. I can't speak for how the food is now but they are doing well enough to continue to open more restaurants.

Kula Sushi Bar's website is here and here is their Facebook where there is more up to date information. The one we ate at is located at 17932 Sky Park Circle, Irvine, CA.

If you are curious about Kura Sushi, I did a post about it back in 2009 that is here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Uwajimaya Summer Festival Redux

Since I posted about this year's Uwajimaya Natsu Matsuri I thought I would finally share photos from the previous two years. These are of Portland's International Ikebana booth from 2013.

Photos from the games area including people doing the cut out game in 2013.

This may have been the Ryobu-Kai karate demonstration. I didn't stick around for more entertainment because it was very hot like it was this year. Maybe next year Uwajimaya can put up some misters?

It was hot in 2014 but I made an effort to check out more of the entertainment. Really nice shamisen performance by Masaru Yamakage

A couple of the very nice ladies of Portland's Ikebana International Chapter 47. I wonder if they have beginners classes?

A few of their designs that day. They put them together in the booth so if you go early you can watch how they do this.

Always nice to see the variety of flowers and plants they use.

Pretty good food offerings last year. I believe that Uwajimaya offers the booths to various organizations to staff and raise money. Since the booths look the same each year but different groups work them.

Last year Nichiren Buddhist Temple staffed the crepes booth.

And the crepes were yummy! Unfortunately because it was so hot mine melted all over me. Even so it was delicious.

Another angle of Masaru Yamakage playing.

Tachibana Dance Group wowed the audience with their performances.

I hope to get a few videos of these performances on YouTube so I can share them with you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sushi at Yama

At the other end of the spectrum from conveyor belt sushi in the Portland Metro area are places like Yama Sushi and Sake Bar.

Which I stopped in last year just to see how it was. What I didn't know is this is one of the favorite places to eat sushi in Portland so I was lucky to get a seat. I was smart and took a photo of my order. You can see a little of what they offer.

If you want something to drink with your food Yama is well stocked for that.

Always nice to get a little something like these marinated cucumbers.

My order arrives. Yama's sushi is one piece but they are really nice sized pieces.

In front from left to right is striped bass with yuzu truffle oil, real crab gunkan which was beautifully done and tamagoyaki. Note how it is made with layers?

Back row left to right is maguro (tuna), yellowtail, wild salmon, premium snapper and aji (horse mackerel). Yama definitely lived up to it's reputation. I really enjoyed this.

With sushi this good Yama is popular so it's good to go when they open or make reservations.

Yama Sushi and Sake Bar is located at 926 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR and their website is here.